The Canada Startup Visa program is a multistep process, and each step requires patience and persistence. Here is a breakdown of each step and the approximate timelines
- Applying to incubators: The first step involves obtaining a Letter of Support (LOS) from an incubator. The time for this step can range from a few weeks to a few months. Some incubators require completion of a program before issuing the LOS. It took me three months to secure my LOS, including several interviews with myself and my Co-Founder.
- Work Permit Application: Assuming you receive your LOS, you can immediately apply for a Work Permit. Processing times can vary depending on your location. I received my Work Permit in about five months after applying from Pakistan. You can check processing times for your country on the IRCC website. After receiving your Work Permit, you can relocate to Canada with your family and start working on your startup.
- Permanent Resident Application: It’s advisable to apply for Permanent Resident (PR) status along with your Work Permit application. The current processing time for PR is over 30 months.
All in all, it took me 9 months to receive my Work Permit from the day I started applying to incubators. The PR is a different matter and I will update this when I receive it, hopefully sometime in 2025.